Sunday, August 2, 2015

Austin Day 2

Hah Y'all :)

We are having SO much fun gabbing and catching up. It's wonderful to be back spending time with such a good friend and a truly amazing person!

We went to a fun place around the corner from our hotel for a coffee at Hideout Coffeehouse. Ok, I cheated, but it was oh-so-amazing and worth every precious sip. mmmm... goodness. First coffee I've had in three weeks. I do miss coffee! It was a cute little funky place. And they have Stumptown Coffee. From Portland, OR. How could it be wrong?? Then we wandered down Congress street to Annie's Cafe, a really cute French-inspired place. We got eggs that tasted amazing and fresh. yum!

We then wandered to the river and wandered along enjoying the views. We saw the Stevie Ray Vaughn statue and took a picture, then wandered on. It was quite hot by then, so we decided to walk back and down to the South Congress (SOCO) district which had a lot of cute little restaurants, live music, vintage shops and boot stores. Colleen drooled over some boots that were amazing, though an impressive price tag and we wandered back towards our hotel.

We stopped to grab a snack of salad and gluten free bread at a little place called Due Forni near the hotel then headed to change. We're staying at the Intercontinental, a nice little splurge in the heart of it all. Beautiful hotel, nicely appointed and in a great location. For two days, it was well worth the splurge.

We stopped back to cool off a bit and change, and headed to the State Capitol. We were both far more impressed than expected. it's a gorgeous building with really amazing architecture! We toured it for a while and headed back to the hotel to catch a cab to Clark's Oyster House.

It felt like home to us. It's a cute and very small seafood place. We both had halibut and I had 3 oysters from Prince Edward Island, Massachusetts, and.. somewhere else. Colleen got this amazing sweet grilled corn with feta, herbs and some heat to it. yum. It was really wonderful.

We cabbed it back to the hotel and were going to go to Rainey street and decided to stay around the area. We first walked to the Speakeasy but they didn't have live music and then decided to walk down 6th St to try to find some live music. Only a few places had it and nothing remarkable. So, we walked and ended up back at the Driskill. The music was good (though not live.) We enjoyed a glass of red and talked some more.

Colleen and I have done a great job of keeping in touch over the years, but it's certainly different meeting in person. it has been truly amazing. We're already planning next year's trip, back in Boston where it all began. :) At around eight I realized that i again missed my opportunity to see the famous Austin bats that fly out in a large cluster from under the Congress Street Bridge at sunset. Drat! Maybe next time..

We enjoyed chatting for a while and decided to call it a night. What a fun day!


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Austin day 1

Hello from Austin, Texas!

I'm so excited to be here as I'm meeting up with a friend I've known for many, many years, but haven't seen in over seven! We decided to do a girls' weekend (thanks to her wonderful husband who has kid duty this weekend) and chose Austin as neither of us have ever been! She is arriving any moment!

I landed and took a stroll down 6th Street, one of the busy, happening areas of town. I had been told it's a college town and it very much appears that way! 6th Street has bar after restaurant after bar. I got in a couple of hours before my friend so stopped at a great place called Koriente, for a snack of rice cakes and spicy veggies. Yum! It was recommended and worth it.. inexpensive, and funky like the college-town restaurants where I went to school.

I'm on a crazy 'diet', working with a naturopath trying to get my asthma in line. I despise diets-- tell me not to do something and it's the very thing I crave! I can't have a huge list of things including wheat, corn, potato, avocado, mushrooms, coffee, dairy.. the list goes on. I suspect it will be a bit of a cheat weekend, which is ok as I have stuck to it pretty faithfully for three weeks now. We did find quite a few places that can accommodate it so we shall see.

My first cheat was a glass of prosecco (I can have red wine but not white.) After walking around, I was far too warm for red wine. Did I mention i can't have liquor as well? So no vodka, tequilla.. [sigh]. I decided it was worth the cheat and it really was. :)

This will be a really short trip-- I got in at 2 and colleen will be here a little after 4, and we fly out mid-day on Monday. But I'm looking forward to seeing her again in person and doing some fun exploring. She is a dear friend so this trip will be really special. And similar to my trip to Copenhagen for a wedding where I got to reconnect with another old friend that I hadn't seen in close to ten years, I suspect it will fly and before we know it, we'll be boarding the plane to leave. But it will be so worth it!!

What a fun night!! I love meeting up with someone.. when years go by and yet it feels like yesterday. In my opinion, that's how you know it's a good friend. The day passed so quickly-- but let me recap.

Colleen got to the hotel and we chatted for a bit before heading out. We walked back down 6th street, one of the main drags with lots of bars and restaurants. I had read about the Driskill Hotel, a historic and gorgeous place, so we stopped in for a drink. It was stunning! Tin ceiling, marble pillars.. gorgeous. We walked down 6th and now there were guys outside of each bar trying to tempt us inside. The best that we heard was, "Hey ladies, come on inside and have a drink. You deserve it! Don't think it, drink it!" Loved it.

We walked a ways down Congress and decided to go back to the hotel for freshen up for dinner. We went to the Roaring Fork, a place also in Scottsdale, where I live. I've been there for happy hour but never dinner. Turns out, it was in our hotel! Worked well as Colleen's from Raleigh and the time difference made it more difficult for her. I had absolutely no excuse yawning at ten, which was 8 pm my time! Truly amazing dinner and wine.

Tomorrow we'll explore more. Today was about catching up on the last few months. We talk once or twice a year, but it's so wonderful to meet in person. Truly magical. Happy. Life is good. Wonderful. :)